Thursday, October 21, 2010

Be Clear

Recently, my six-year old son and I were looking around a local diving store. (His idea.) My son asked the clerk if he would be allowed to touch a mask and snorkel.

The clerk responded, "Not really."

My son paused and then said, "So, can I touch them?"

"He said no," I said, impatiently.

"Well, he didn't actually say, 'no.' He said 'not really,' which means he would prefer I not touch them, but doesn't mean I'm not allowed to."

There you have it.

This incident reinforced for me how often adults, including myself of course, do not speak clearly.
And when it comes to presenting, ambiguity can be our worst enemy - leading to an unfocused and ultimately unmemorable presentation.

From the Green Room: Before you even start writing your speech, take the time to make sure your message is 100 percent clear. Once you are clear on your message, make sure your words, your voice, and your body motions express your message as clearly and consistently as possible.


Anonymous said...

There you have it indeed! A determined 6-year old has never met an ambiguity he couldn't exploit. And you're right -- even one carelessly chosen word can obfuscate a message. Great post!!!

Sarah Gershman said...

Thank you!